Religion: The Rules for Rome

The Roman Catholic diocese of Rome had its first synod in almost 500 years last week, and Pope John XXIII explained the occasion as "a meeting of a bishop with his priests to study the problems of the spiritual life of the faithful, to give or restore vigor to ecclesiastical laws so as to eliminate abuses, to promote Christian life, foster divine worship and religious practices."

According to the code of canon law which became effective in 1918, all dioceses are required to hold a synod every ten years, but few of them do—Rome least of all, because Popes are usually too...

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